Judge Dredd RPG - 2nd Edition

Arabin

Mongoose
Matthew Sprange recently gave more information on the proposed second edition of the JP RPG when he posted on one of the Dredd fan groups. It really sounds great, and I hope they follow through with this... it might even be worth trying to incorporate some of these details into your existing campaign. Matthew said it was okay to post this here, so thanks Matthew.

Here is his email:

Hi guys,

This is, of course, something we have given a lot of thought to (but, I must stress, we are a long way from actually producing the proposed 2nd edition - perhaps we'll wait for the films to be released).

I am not wildly keen on outmoding every supplement players have already bought - each should have, at least, some relevance. The D20 System is also still the most popular rules set around and so I would not be so quick to dismiss it. Non-Dredd heads _do_ buy into the game and have allowed us to produce so much for it - it may not be easy to have it both ways

My current (main) problems with the rules as they stand are;

1. Overall complexity. Judge Dredd was the first RPG we produced and so while there are significant differences between it and standard D20, we were still a lot more conservative than we could have been. In particular, I would like to remove such things as Attacks of Opportunity (no real place for them in this sort of game), Bull Rushes, Disarming and bring everything together in a more unified (and simple) combat system.

2. Vehicle rules - some nice ideas in there but they are too much of a halfway house between using miniatures and not (though now we are producing JD miniatures, they may enjoy something of a renaissance).

3. Close the disparity between citizens and Judges. Judges should indeed get certain benefits for their unique training but with their additional equipment, there is no need for them to be combat monsters as well. I like the idea of a perp with a knife being some kind of threat.

4. I would like to focus more on characters in the new edition, rather than locations, as we have been doing - especially with the supplements. The plan here would be to focus the main rulebook on judges and judges alone. Supplements would concentrate primarily on characters and what they can do - so, one supplement may cover Psi Division, another the SJS, etc. That is not to say we would not have (say) a Cursed Earth book but it would no longer be the focus of the game. As things stand, there really is nothing for the players in the supplement range, which cannot be right. Perp-based campaigns would be a supplement too, allowing us to streamline the rulebook further. The Creeps chapter would be expanded to give a lot more variety.

5. Combat, automatic weapons and multiple attacks. That could do with another look

The current idea is to go with a much simplified D20 System, and produce it as an OGL book - so all the rules are contained in one volume. To this end, we may keep the six ability scores and the d20 task resolution, and leave everything else up for grabs. Skills may become 'binary', as I heard one writer put it - you either have them, or you don't. Feats are a nice system for introducing special abilities, so they may stay - but they will be bent a lot more towards the MC-1 setting. Thus a lot of the traditional D&D close combat based feats would disappear. Vehicle rules may be brought in closer to D20 Modern and Future, allowing a lot more compatibility (there is no way we can document every vehicle in MC-1 ourselves!). However, special attention needs to be paid to bikes and their use.

Just a few ideas we are floating round the office at the moment. If you fancy putting your oar in, be my guest!

Matthew


It sounds pretty good to me.

Arabin
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This sounds very interesting. I always wanted them to focus more on characters than locations. Which fan site did you get this info from?
 

Arabin

Mongoose
It wasn't actually a fan site, it's the Dredd yahoo group. Though things are often quiet there, it's one of the best places for Dredd info.

Arabin
 

PaulB

Mongoose
This sounds like a great opportunity to take a BIG step and create a completely unique system, rather than pull stringy strands off the d20 system, in whatever format. Games Workshop didn't do it perfectly either, but the original Judge Dredd game was pretty smooth and action orientated, and it didn't rely on some bulging Other Game system that really didn't suit the method of play.

I know that Mongoose have the creative oomph to push the boat out and do something different. Sitting on top of the d20 system doesn't necessarily do a game setting any favours. Something truly brilliant could come from taking the leap of faith to a tailored game system - and supplements (filled with background as they are) will not be completely lost or outdated. And, future supplements could still, perhaps, provide minimal d20 support of some kind - rather like Chaosium's approach on Basic System / d20 Cthulhu supplements.
 

redlaco

Mongoose
I don't have JD RPG yet, but I'd surely jump on a 2nd edition if it comes out. All the changes proposed looks interesting and promising. The shift of focus from location to character is indeed the way to go, as Artking3 said.

I'm also all for the dropping of D20 combat stuff like AoO, Bull rushes and disarming. We rarely use them in any setting anyway.

We'll have to cross our fingers for this one.
 

Arabin

Mongoose
Out of interest, how does d20 Modern handle things like disarm, bull rushes, etc.? I don't nkow d20 nearly as well as my players, and they throw all kinds of moves at me sometimes. I haven't yet collected my thoughts enough to disallow certain things...

Arabin
 
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Anonymous

Guest
D20 Modern handles Disarms, etc pretty much like standard D&D.

I would really like Mongoose to create their own system for Judge Dredd. Something like Cinematic Unisystem, which is my current favorite system. I prefer skill based systems to class-based systems, and I pretty much converted Judge Dredd to Cinematic Unisystem for my own use anyway.
 

Arabin

Mongoose
Hmm, I've never heard of that system, Artking... care to share the fruits of your labor, or is it copyrighted?

Arabin
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Now though I never played the orginal Judge Dredd. I'm happy to say that Judge Dredd D20 is well nice.

Now I'm not one of those gamers who will jump on systems getting absorbed into the collective known as D20. but I have seen some systems that really were not any kind of fit for d20. But I think d20 works quite well for Dredd. Granted thier are a few wholes or areas that can use more clarification. (the mutant section for example really was skimped on)

I think with the feat based system that is avalible it offers a wide differentiation of character types and specialliztion. Not to mention it did make Judge Dredd more apitizing for me playing alot of d20 games the system is one my gamers are a little more familar with playing alot of D&DD20. Besides just having the system on my shelf scares some of my D&D players on getting banished into Mega city one :twisted: . And just seeing all the cool supplements already out I hope they never stop making them d20 compatable.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cinematic Unisystem is the system used in Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG and the Angel RPG, both by Eden Studios.

My conversion is pretty simple, and not very true to the official Judge Dredd RPG stats for Dredd, cause I use other sources to base Dredd's stats. But here it is just for your info. I don't think that I am violating any copyright laws (at least I sincerely hope not).

Attributes are 1-6 for humans, 2 being average, 5 is the "practical" human limit, 6 is the "true" limit, 7 and above is superhuman. Skills are 1-10 for humans, 3 is average, 4-5 is highly trained or skilled, 7-10 is a master.


Cinematic Unisystem Conversion-
Character Name- Judge Dredd
Real Name- Joseph “Joe” Dredd
Character Type- (Very Experienced) Veteran
Profession- Senior Street Judge of Mega-City One

Attributes
Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Constitution 5, lntelligence 3, Perception 4, Willpower 6

Secondary Attributes
Life Points 61, Drama Points 20

Qualities
Acute Sense (Sight) (Cybereyes), Contacts (Justice Department) 5, Fast Reaction Time, Force of Law, Hard to Kill 5, Natural Toughness, Nerves of Steel, Rank (Senior Street Judge, Sector Chief) 4, Situational Awareness

Drawbacks
Adversary (Lots) 7, Obligation (Total) 3, Obsession (Upholding the law) 2

Skills
Acrobatics 6, Art 0, Computers 1, Crime 6, Doctor 2, Driving 8, Getting Medieval 7, Gun Fu 9, lnfluence 5, Knowledge 3, Kung Fu 7, Languages 0, Mr. Fix-lt 3, Notice 6, Occultism 0, Science 0, Sports 0, Wild Card 0
 

Arabin

Mongoose
Thanks for sharing. While I don't understand how all of those skills and such break down, it looks good. The only thing I think I would have changed is his strength... after reading so many stories, I'm pretty sure that he should be stronger than that. I recently re-read the two encounters with Stan Lee, and the destruction the Dredd causes in the last encounter. Gripping stuff, but his strength shines through.

Arabin
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I personally would put Dredd's inellegence at 4. He is by no means average, and though his ideolagy may well be dictated by his training and role, his logic and knowledge of the Law is impeccable. This is a man who can, at a crime scene, look at a pool of blood and human debris and say, 'I make it 15 victims' and be correct.
 

Artking3

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
I personally would put Dredd's inellegence at 4. He is by no means average, and though his ideolagy may well be dictated by his training and role, his logic and knowledge of the Law is impeccable. This is a man who can, at a crime scene, look at a pool of blood and human debris and say, 'I make it 15 victims' and be correct.

It could be a 4, but 3 is already above average. 4 is excellent, just shy of genius intellect (5). Using the D20 stats, his Intelligence of 13 would make him above average but not that close to genius intellect.

The example you gave would make use of his Notice skill more, as well as his Perception attribute, which is a 4.

I probably should also give him the skill Wild Card (Mega-City Law) at a high level, anywhere from 7 to 10.
 

Dredd Times

Administrator
I feel that Dredd isnt exactly a strong man, (5 in unisystem is just about right) just has a very honed body from years on the streets, rather than sheer physical strength. Though on occasion he has shown almost superhuman (read Buffy) feats of strength such as ripping his chains from their walls when cuffed on on the way to Titan (Day the Law Died), or pulling himself from a cross he had been nailed to and managing to crawl across the Cursed Earth.

The Wild Card (Mega-City Law) is a great idea though though his Hard to Kill skill should be a little higher to represent the sheer number of times he has managed to aviod being killed, (at least 8, putting him on par with both Angel and Spike).

The Unisystem is excellent if you haven't checked it out yet, grab a copy as soon as you can.

Marc
 

Artking3

Mongoose
Dredd Times said:
Though on occasion he has shown almost superhuman (read Buffy) feats of strength such as ripping his chains from their walls when cuffed on on the way to Titan (Day the Law Died), or pulling himself from a cross he had been nailed to and managing to crawl across the Cursed Earth.

though his Hard to Kill skill should be a little higher to represent the sheer number of times he has managed to aviod being killed, (at least 8, putting him on par with both Angel and Spike).

Marc

Normal humans can only have Hard to Kill up to level 5, and tough as Dredd is, he is only human.

I would put down all the superhuman feats of strength and endurance to expenditure of Drama Points. People have done superhuman feats through sheer adrenaline in real life.
 

hassanisabbah

Mongoose
I wouldn't agree that Judges are human. They were human. but when you look at what they are supposed to be capable of, they are probably up there on the next rung up. Who knows what kind of adaptation is undergone, along with enhancements during training.

I quite like the Unisystem, though it does have problems with being 'too easy to munchkin' (tip buying 1 level in most skills is a way to start, and pushing the rest in stats). Personally I do prefer All Flesh to Buffy, but then I never liked the TV series, and have love of zombie movies.

Not sure where this is going.... oh yeah. If I was gonna do JD with Eden, I'd use All Flesh.... rather than Buffy. Or even better all flesh for civilians and Buffy for the Judges....(pun not intended).
 

Dredd Times

Administrator
I know that humans can only go up to the cap limits, and of course that Joe Dredd is a human, albeit at the peak of human endurance. What I was trying to say rather than have him up there with the supernatural characters or slayers of Buffy is he is DREDD having him taken out with ease is a little like the Batman meeting a mook in a dark alley and falling fowl. Okay it can happen but as the old saying goes 'My Name is Above the Credits'. After all Dredd is the star of the strip and as such is rightly difficult to kill. Sure luck and drama points can play their part in keeping the character out of deaths grip.

Just an idea.
Marc
 

Artking3

Mongoose
Dredd Times said:
I know that humans can only go up to the cap limits, and of course that Joe Dredd is a human, albeit at the peak of human endurance. What I was trying to say rather than have him up there with the supernatural characters or slayers of Buffy is he is DREDD having him taken out with ease is a little like the Batman meeting a mook in a dark alley and falling fowl. Okay it can happen but as the old saying goes 'My Name is Above the Credits'. After all Dredd is the star of the strip and as such is rightly difficult to kill. Sure luck and drama points can play their part in keeping the character out of deaths grip.

Just an idea.
Marc

Even as normal humans, Dredd and Batman are VERY hard to defeat. Sure they have been defeated by normal humans (eg Stan Lee) in straight combat, but they also have defeated numerous superhuman foes. Having their attributes and skills at very high levels, and being controlled by intelligent players, Dredd and Batman can defeat any foes through judicious use of skills, strategy, technology and Drama Points. I don't see the need to break any rules for them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
To get back on topic, here are my thoughts on a Judge Dredd Second Edition (JD 2e). In short, I don't think it's needed. I think more adventures are needed.

Going away from d20 is a mistake, in my opinion. I bought the game because it is d20. I was not a big fan of JD. I had only seen the movie. I borrowed and read a few of the 1st comics released in the US just before buying the game. The setting is great, but the game has to be easy and portable to attract new players. I liked it becasue it presented JUST ENOUGH changes to the D&D d20 system to make the game playable without throwing everything that I already know (and love) out the window. It was hard enough to get my buddies to play it as a d20 game. I think it would be impossible as its own system or even a d20-based OGL variant.

As such, I think it would also be a mistake to go with a sort of OGL conversion. My experience with Mongoose OGL games is that they tend to rewrite things that don't need to be rewritten. The ability to present a closed rules set is an attractive feature of OGL, but this end is achieved with leaving the JD d20 game with the 3.0 rules set. NOT upgrading gives the game a cohesive rules set that keeps everything relevant.

Unfortunately, this approach does not sell more and new rule books. So, I understand the drive to make new editions. Sometimes, new editions are better. For me 3e was better than its D&D predecessors. However, 3.5 presents enough changes to erode my system mastery and adds things that I don't think need to be changed. I would hate to see JD 2e suffer a similar fate. I kept my 3.0 books so that I can run JD, althoiug I really wish I were still playing 3.0 across the board.

As far as judges being more powerful than citizens, that is one of the biggest attractions of the game for me. Although I don't get to play the game, I love the idea of playing a character that is better than the average person. Also, I love the fact that a judge already has great equipment and resources. It frees the game from being a quest to acquire more and better stuff by killing the bad guys and stealing their stuff. I would hate to see judges nerfed for any reason.

Lastly, more adventures. I will pick up S&P 13-15 for the JD adventure on the off chance that I can run it one day for my gaming group. I buy the other supplements, but I use just the core book in the game. I know adventure support is unfavored with publishers as not profitable, but it seems to me to be the best way to get more players playing the game and buying more core books.

Hope to see more on this topic as it develops.
 
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